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The Number 40

My husband and I have been planning a renewal wedding for our 40th Anniversary in 2017.
As we threw around a few ideas over lunch, the number 40 stuck in my mind - that's a lot of years!

I started thinking about how much growth we've had since starting this union at 18 years of age.
I thought could I give 40 tips for a successful marriage if asked, probably not, but here is a list of 40 things about our marriage that keeps us going.

1. We established roles at the beginning of our marriage. It's not that we don't help each other out, but he does things like the yard, trash, the cars, and I do the inside stuff such as cooking, laundry, and keeping the house neat and tidy. Honestly, I don't remember discussing these designated roles, but we've always done it and it's worked for us.

2. We agree to disagree which is typically accomplished by changing the subject or silence.

3. We laugh at each other. I probably more at him, but we both find humor in each other.

4. We support each other in all of our endeavors.

5. We respect each other. We speak to each other in a respectful way, and don't talk badly about each other.

6. We have different interests. For example, he loves getting on his motorcycle and riding for hours - I've never ridden on it. He likes to go camping - I like to camp in a nice hotel room. I love to go dancing - he watches my purse.

7. We believe in each other.

8. We discuss growing old together. I think that discussion just validates that we're in it to win it - our marriage is going to last.

9. We have no expectations of perfection from each other. I'm a perfectionist, but I know that's my issue and I can't expect the same from him.

10. We worship together and have deep discussions about our faith.

11. We believe in giving and doing for others.

12. We believe in family and work daily on keeping ours together.

13. We're thankful for everything in our life...struggles and blessings.

14. We're aware of our blessings and don't take them for granted.

15. We know when to walk away. There's no need to add fuel to the fire - we did enough of that when we we're young and stupid.

16. He serves me coffee each morning. It's an act of kindness - we do random acts of kindness for each other every day.

17. We drink wine together - it's our time to share our thoughts and relax. You can of course choose a beverage of your choice. (it's really not about the wine)

18. We give each other space. Evenings are me in the bedroom watching TV or reading while he's in the family room watching TV or in the living room reading. Everyone needs some time alone.

19. We trust each other. We don't go through each others cell phones. In fact, we don't answer each others cell phone unless we ask.

20. We balance each other out. I don't stress about anything, and he can become overwhelmed and stress a bit at times, so my Que Sera, Sera personality brings him back to reality - we can't change what we have no control over.

21.We like each other and enjoy being with each other. Sometimes I feel that's more important than loving someone. Heck, there's family members that I love but don't like, so I choose not to spend time with them. You make time for the people that are important in your life.

22. We have boundaries... unspoken we've established what's acceptable in our marriage and what isn't.

23. We try to eat dinner together at the table - not on the couch in front of the television. I work a few nights a week so he's on his own then, but we both like the tradition of sitting down for a family dinner together.

24. We accept each others sleep patterns. I have always had a hard time falling asleep, and he's out as soon as his head hits the pillow. I'm up late and he's out of bed early. I don't know why I think it's important to even mention sleep, but I know couples that go to sleep at the same time and wake up together - we've never been that couple.

25. He always wants detailed information and I'm a just give me the facts person.
I guess you can say that balances us. I'm usually done after the third question and have to remind him that I don't know because I didn't ask because I don't care...I don't need the fluff.

26. We both love animals. He's a dog person and I'm a cat person so we have 3 dogs and 4 cats. Our animals remind us of unconditional love.

27. I'm not a good caregiver if you're old enough to get your own Tylenol and take your own temperature, and I don't expect anyone to take care of me. So we take care of ourselves.

28. We listen to each other. Admittedly, I'm the better listener, but I'm okay with his half listening skills as long as he can repeat at least four words of what I said. I think that's called acceptance - let's make acceptance number 29.

30. We have common goals.

31. We take ownership of our shortcomings and mistakes.

32. We believe in hard work, and both work hard.

33. We're simple people - we live within our means.

34. We forgive.

35. We let go of the past.

36. We embrace each moment.

37. We make contact with each other at least once during the day while working.

38. We take one day at a time.

39. We pray a lot and about everything. We don't make life decisions without it.

40. We never quit working on making our marriage work.




  1. I haven't read your blog in a while, but reading it today has reminded me how much I enjoy it. You are a good writer and I always come away feeling encouraged or that I've learned something. My husband and I will celebrate 29 years in December and reading your list here I see a lot of things that we seem to do very similar. It's a great list and some good reminders too. :)

    Mary Westmoreland


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